Google and European Telecoms Urge EU to Classify iMessage as Core Service

Google and European Telecoms Urge EU to Classify iMessage as Core Service
(Image: Apple)

Google and some leading network operators in Europe have called on the EU Commission to classify iMessage, Apple’s instant messaging service, as a core service, thereby compelling the provider to make the chat app compatible with competitors.

This information is reported by the Financial Times, based on a letter addressed to the EU Commission jointly signed by a Senior Vice President of Google and CEOs of Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica, and Orange.

The iMessage service is currently usable without restrictions only on Apple products running iOS, iPadOS, and MacOS. When Android smartphone users join an iMessage chat group, all messages change color as if SMS is being used. Additionally, Android users experience lower quality in videos and photos.

The EU’s Digital Markets Act (DMA) designates companies as gatekeepers if they possess undue market power due to their financial size and the number of users they have. Apple, in response to the Financial Times’ inquiry, referred to a previous statement asserting that iMessage “does not fall within the scope of the DMA.”

To be considered gatekeepers, companies or their products must have generated at least 7.5 billion euros in revenue in the EU in the past three years or have a market capitalization exceeding 75 billion euros. They must also have a minimum of 45 million users and be active in at least three EU member states.

According to the Financial Times, experts estimate that iMessage has up to 1 billion users worldwide, and Apple has informed the EU Commission that it has more than 10,000 business users globally.

The authors of the letter argue that Apple meets the qualitative thresholds of the law and should, therefore, be included in the regulations, which would benefit European consumers and businesses.

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Carl Woodrow
A seasoned tech enthusiast and writer, Carl delves deep into emerging technologies, offering insightful analysis and reviews on the latest gadgets and trends.